A group of companies including PalmSource and France Telecom have set up a new forum to develop mobile Linux standards.

The Linux Phone Standardization Forum (LiPS) will launch officially in mid-November and hopes to standardise the applications layer of Linux-based mobile devices.

LiPS will aim to complement efforts of the Mobile Linux Initiative, a working group launched by OSDL in October. The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) has been invited to attend the initial LiPS sessions in Paris and Beijing.

The Mobile Linux Initiative, which includes Motorola, PalmSource and Trolltech, is focusing on "everything that is kernel-related". Technologies to be addressed include those that ensure that Linux phones manage power and memory efficiently. "LiPS is more oriented toward the higher layer of the stack," said Claude Beullens, OSDL director for Europe. "They're more attacking the applications layer. So in fact we feel that the work is very complementary."

Beullens credits France Telecom with originating the idea for LiPS. A spokesman for PalmSource handling queries about LiPS said many details about the project and its mission have yet to be worked out, and he declined to offer additional information prior to the launch.

Using Linux-based mobile phones is most popular in China, where Motorola has sold over three million Linux handsets. Linux proponents say the open-source OS can help phone makers reduce costs and better support phones that today carry an increasing array of functions.

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